A new pair of glasses

In a delightful new essay, Derek Sivers makes the case that travel is best with young children. One of his points is the childlike sense of openness:

Your child has no prejudices. This is my favorite part. I often go to places I’m biased against. Seeing them through my child’s unbiased perception, and interacting with the people as such, helps me connect, which then helps me expire my old opinions.

I wish I could take him with me everywhere, like glasses.

In The Courage to Be Disliked, Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga write:

That’s what it means to live in your subjective world. There is no escape from your own subjectivity. At present, the world seems complicated and mysterious to you, but if you change, the world will appear more simple. The issue is not about how the world is, but about how you are…. It’s as if you see the world through dark glasses, so naturally everything seems dark. But if that is the case, instead of lamenting about the world’s darkness, you could just remove the glasses. Perhaps the world will appear terribly bright to you then and you will involuntarily shut your eyes. Maybe you’ll want the glasses back on, but can you even take them off in the first place? Can you look directly at the world? Do you have the courage?

This happy doubling makes me think of my experience with mindfulness and meditation. At this point, I’ve spent over 6,600 minutes meditating, usually 10 minutes at a time. That’s easily over 100 hours of my life. In these 10 minutes, I’m putting on a new set of glasses that enables me to get through the day with far more light, ease, and acceptance.

(Similarly, writing every day has also felt like wearing another pair of new glasses.)

We see the world not as it is, but as we are. Whether you want to change yourself, or the world, start by trying on a new pair of glasses.

For more pairs of new glasses, check out Rob Walker’s The Art of Noticing (newsletter and book).

See also: You become what you write about and A Book Is a Decision to Change.

Continued in part 2, part 3, and part 4.

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